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TSL Co-Sign: Buyer's Guide to Winter Coats

We've got two more months of winter left. Don't take that little denim jacket out yet.

By Megan Ann Wilson January 29, 2013, 06:58 PM EST

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If you're unfortunate enough to be living on the east coast in the winter, you know that January is the cruelest month. Temperatures have dropped well below freezing to brick cold, leaving some unprepared to deal with the weather. The good news is that January is also sales month, so fear not if you've waited this late to grab a warm jacket. Here's your TSL approved guide to the best styles available to combat Old Man Winter for the rest of the season. 

Puffer Coats:

The puffer coat is a perennial favorite when it comes to staying warm all winter, thanks to insulation qualities of down. While down can be found in many different silhouettes, it's most synonymous with the quilted jacket. When buying a down piece, remember - the higher the ratio of down to feathers, the warmer you'll stay this winter. Also, down lasts up to three times longer than synthetic alternatives making the investment worthy in the long run. Mackage, an outerwear company from Montreal, Canada, understands the fusion of style with warmth. Their Federico jacket ($476) features a 90/10 goose down ratio, raccoon fur collar, leather details and a wool body for a jacket that keeps you looking cool while maintaining optimum protection against the elements. This G-Star jacket ($200 on sale) also features a 90/10 ratio and a shiny black nylon outer that can be mistaken for wax cotton or leather - two fabrics that are heavily trending in menswear for the next few seasons.

Shearling + Sheepskin Coat:

Shearling, made from the pelt of a sheep, is one of the warmest and oldest textiles. The material can both wick away and absorb water, depending on the humidity and sweat, making it great to wear on both cold and more mild winter days. While shearling is most popular for boots and other winter accessories, it’s still used as a lining or collar in menswear jackets. This Schott ($970) bomber jacket is fully lined in thick sheepskin and leather outer that will age beautifully as you wear it out in the elements. For a more sophisticated shearling look, try the Pendleton Portland Collection Laredo overcoat ($550). This classic overcoat is the perfect topper for your suits and formal events and it will keep you toasty, thanks to the wool outer, shearling lining and collar and length that covers past your thighs. 

Peacoat:

The peacoat, which is recognizable by the wide lapels, double-breasted fronts and large buttons, is a great jacket for more grown activities which call for a put together look, despite the weather. The key to making this style work in the cold is to look for a heavy wool for the most amount of warmth and layering a heavy scarf in a wool/cashmere blend or fur to keep your neck covered. This double-breasted coat by A.P.C. ($249 on sale) is made of a heavy wool tweed that is both office appropriate but casual enough to wear with denim on the weekend. The Wings + Horns ribbed collar peacoat  ($205.50 on sale), is made of thick melton wool with a modern large ribbed cotton collar for a sophisticated take on the classic style. It's also lined in extra warm cotton flannel for those chilly date nights. 

Performance Shell:

On the east coast, the weather can only be described as schizophrenic, going from frigid temperatures to wet and wild thaws in the span of 24 hours. An insulated waterproof GORE-TEX shell will give you a lot of mileage every winter. Arc’Teryx Fission SV jacket ($675) is waterproof, windproof and durable. The GORE-TEX fabric is durable and the lightweight insulation makes the jacket incredibly warm, but still gives you the ability to add layers. For a more directional take on traditional GORE-TEX, try the Stone Island Stealth Coat Proshell 3L ($782). The longer length and clean full-taped seam exterior is both tough but fashionable - built to perform for both street style snaps and brutal weather conditions. The mix of winter cotton, wool and GORE-Tex ensures that this jacket is the perfect marriage of function and fashion. 

Parkas and Anoraks:

Parkas and Anoraks are the most utilitarian jackets available, since the simple hooded silhouette can be made from a bevy of materials. For a streamlined take on the anorak, try the Norse Projects Nunk Jacket v.2 ($430). The Nunk features a heavy weight cotton canvas body, fully padded nylon lining and bright saturated colors to stand out in the snow. The Paxton jacket by Penfield ($169 on sale) is both fully insulated, windproof and available in classic camouflage so you can stay warm, whether you’re in the urban jungle or in the forest.

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Megan Ann Wilson is a fashion stylist and writer, specializing in the sports world. She’s previously written for theScore.com, The Basketball Jones, Complex and has also been a featured expert on NBC Sports and Yahoo’s Ball Don’t Lie. You can follow her on Twitter as @shegotgame.

 

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